For the Press

Tax Analysts Article Prompts Investigation Into Outside Influence on Letter Rulings

September 19, 2013

TIGTA Says Chief Counsel Offices Lack Policies and Systems to Prevent Outside Influence


FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Tax Analysts, the nonprofit provider of federal, state, and international tax news and analysis, today reported in an article in Tax Notes Today that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the IRS Office of Chief Counsel has no policies or systems in place to prevent taxpayers and their representatives from influencing the assignment of their private letter ruling requests to preferred chief counsel attorneys.


The TIGTA report is the result of a seven-month-long audit that was prompted in part by a January 2012 Tax Notes article by Amy Elliott.

In a statement provided to Tax Analysts, the IRS said the Office of Chief Counsel "takes its obligation to provide taxpayers with prompt, unbiased and legally correct interpretations of the law very seriously. We strongly believe that the existing processes for assigning letter ruling requests, together with our procedures for substantive review of letter rulings prior to issuance, provide the necessary safeguards to prevent attempts by practitioners to inappropriately influence the system. Neither TIGTA nor the IRS has identified any instances in which practitioner influence led to the issuance of inappropriate rulings."

You can read Elliott's article here. For more information or to speak with one of our tax experts, please contact Genilson Brandao at 703-531-4810 or